Candid Moments and Passionate Pursuits: The Journey of Deb Lahiri

Candid Moments and Passionate Pursuits: The Journey of Deb Lahiri

Showcase is an effort by 58Miles to bring beautiful journeys of some of the amazing photographers of India & aboard . You will read about their journey , techniques , style and can see the outcome of their art in stunning frames. We asked them some questions to deep dive in to space and here we are....

Introducing 58Miles showcase photographer Deb Lahiri from Kolkata 

Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you got started in photography?

Hi, I am Deb Lahiri, a street photographer based in the vibrant city of Kolkata. Formerly an insurance management professional, I now run my own photography institution, the Window Photography School. I live with my homemaker mother, my civil engineer wife, and my daughter who is currently in the 11th standard.
My journey in photography began during my school days when my mother gifted me a small analogue camera. Initially, it was a hobby, but my passion for photography truly blossomed later. When I started my first job, I bought a Russian SLR camera called Zenith, which marked the beginning of my deeper engagement with this art form. The digital era in 2010-11 was a turning point for me. With an entry-level Nikon DSLR, my approach to photography evolved significantly. Since then, I have been dedicated to practising street, travel, and documentary photography.

What inspires your photography, and how do you choose your subjects or themes?

My photography is inspired by capturing human emotions and the subtle impacts of those emotions in everyday life. I focus on spontaneous, candid moments that reflect the genuine flow of life. I believe that a bit of imperfection can sometimes enhance the authenticity of a photograph.
My projects are often long-term, incorporating diverse time frames, subjects, and locations, as long as I can find a common emotional thread that connects my soul with the subjects. This approach allows me to create a cohesive narrative through my work, resonating deeply with the viewers.

What has been your most memorable photography project or shoot, or any inspiring story around it, and why?

One of my most memorable photography experiences was during the Mahakumbh Mela on the day of "Shahi Snan" (Holy Bath) of the sadhus in 2019. Our team of four started our campaign at 2 AM, walking continuously for 14-15 km. We had no option but to shoot for 8-10 hours, including wading knee-deep into the water with the sadhus to capture the holy bath at “Triveni Sangam”. When we finally returned to our temporary camp around 3 PM, we were completely exhausted and limping from fatigue. Despite the physical toll, I was thrilled with the results, which instantly made me forget about the pain we had endured.

What is your photography kit? Or we would say, what is in your camera bag?

As a street photographer, I prefer carrying small lenses and equipment that won’t draw attention. My go-to gear includes my favorite Fujifilm cameras, along with extra batteries and memory cards. For street photography, I typically use wide-angle lenses, like 18mm or 16-50mm for cropped sensor cameras. When I venture into travel photography, I also carry an 18-105mm lens. Recently, I have developed an interest in using flash creatively on the street, so I now include a flash in my bag as well.

What advice would you give to photographers who are just starting out and looking to make a name for themselves?

My foremost advice is to practice diligently, as there is no substitute for hard work in mastering this beautiful art form. Remember, there is no shortcut to success. I have noticed many budding photographers imitate the styles of established photographers, resulting in copied images that lack the quality of the originals. I urge every aspiring photographer to invest extra effort in understanding their chosen genres and subgenres, and to listen to their inner voice before taking a photo. This approach will help them create a unique identity and distinguish their work from others in the shortest possible time.

You can find Deb Lahiri on :

Instagram : deb_lahiri